Sir Arthur C. Clarke Remembered

Written by: Samuel K. Sloan (FarPoint Media Executive News Director)

sir-arthur-clarke-by-shahidul-alam.jpgThe world mourns the loss of one of its greatest and most gentle humans with the death of Arthur C. Clarke. He passed away late last night in his home in Sri Lanka at the ripe old age of 90.

If I had to point to any person or persons in my nearly 60 years of living on planet Earth that influenced me the most (outside of my parents) I would have to narrow it down to just two men, humanist and philosopher Joseph Campbell and the renowned, author, scientist, futurist and humanitarian Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

For most Sir Arthur is probably best known for writing the sci-fi novel that set the tone for everything that would be seen on the movie screen in the 20th Century if it dealt with outer space, the revolutionary story of "2001: A Space Odyssey" (originally written in 1948), which was brought to the big screen by a collaboration between him and the legendary director Stanley Kubrick in 1965. To say that the novel and film were eons before their time would be a gross understatement. Relying on scientific fact and the limitless imagination of his genius, Clarke allowed an entire generation of closet geeks to come out and change the face of both the scientific and entertainment community simultaneously. He made us proud to be geeky, smart, and yes, a bit nerdish.

Sir Arthur is reverently referred to as the father of the modern communications age when as early as the 1940's he stunned the scientific community with the concept of using orbital satellites for worldwide telecommunications. Again, in 1940, he was the first to predict that man would be on the moon before the close of the 20th Century and was the first pioneer and proponent for seeing the need to move into green technology decades before anyone else saw the dangers of global temperature shifts.

What made his sci-fi novels so believable and lasting, so that over the last 60 plus years they have stood the test of time and will live on long after most of us are gone, is how he interlaced his fantastic stories with the harsh realities of scientific fact married to scientific possibility.

There have been many SF and genre-related influences in my six decades of living. Such people as the great Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, and the feisty but brutally honest Harlan Ellison, but it is Sir Arthur C. Clarke that will forever hold a unique and special place reserved in my heart and memory. I will miss him greatly and the world is less with his passing.

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